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Huge reduction in new CHAdeMO chargers being installed, figures suggest
The latest news from the world of EVs
Morning, I’m Tom Riley and welcome back to The Fast Charge, a British EV newsletter.
Top story in today’s edition… Are CHAdeMO chargers on the way out? I dug into the National Chargepoint Registry and the figures suggest it is.
Elsewhere… BMW confirms £600 million to build the electric Mini in the UK, could hybrid vehicles get some leeway, and EV subscription firm Onto goes under.
As ever, if you have any thoughts or comments, please do get in touch. My contact details are here or simply reply to this email.
Is the CHAdeMO charger on its last legs?
Background: I’m sure we’re all aware, but just in case you’re not, CHAdeMO is a type of EV charging port that was developed in 2010 by a group of Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Toyota. For a while in the early EV days, it was the original rapid charging standard – capable of reaching speeds up to 50-100kW. There are apparently about a million EVs worldwide with an inlet, such as the Nissan Leaf, which is consistently one of the most popular EVs in the UK, for example.
However… In recent years, as the charging networks have grown and motorists have wanted an ever-faster charging experience, the ‘CCS’ port in EVs has become the rapid charging standard – as it means vehicles can be recharged up to 300kW (and maybe more). As such, today nearly all new EVs on the market come with a CCS option.
Phase out… It’s long been ‘EV chatter’ that public charging networks have increasingly been prioritising CCS and Type 2 plugs at their stations instead of CHAdeMO – which serves a much smaller number of vehicles – and official figures I’ve analysed from the National Chargepoint Registry (NCR) this week suggests this is in fact true.
New analysis… Based on my research, so far in 2023, of all the public devices added to the database – which is just over 9,000 in total – chargers with a CHAdeMO connector only made up 2% of new additions. By comparison, in 2022, CHAdeMO-capable devices made up 7% of those added, and in 2021 it was 10%. This indicates a significant downward trend.
A caveat… while the NCR is maintained by the government, it self-admittedly is not as up-to-date as other databases are, but it’s the best open source of publicly available chargers in the UK. It also undoubtedly indicates that CHAdeMO-capable chargers are being phased out as CCS becomes the dominant connector.
Response? If you speak to people in the EV sector, especially those with larger networks, they suggest CHAdeMO is still being supported, though it’s evident that a phase-out could be on the cards in the future. For example, Tom Hurst, UK Country Manager at Fastned, commented: “Fastned is about freedom for all electric drivers, so it is currently our policy to include CHAdeMO connectors at all our sites. As the decline of this standard continues, we will keep this policy under review.”
Likewise… This sentiment was echoed by Ian Johnston, CEO of Osprey, who said their objective is to be open to all drivers and hence “all of the chargepoints we have installed in 2023 offer the ability to charge on CHAdeMO and CCS.” Johnston added though that, “Nevertheless, the data shows that the OEMs and consumers have chosen that CCS is the solution for the future: year-to-date less than 2% of the 200,000 BEVs that have been registered in the UK have carried a CHAdeMO connector, with 98.5% offering CCS.”
FairCharge founder Quentin Willson also reinforced the view that the number of chargers available “will gradually decline”. He commented: “CHAdeMO connectors are being phased out in Europe as most OEMs outside Japan have gone for CCS. The first gen EV Mitsubishis, Citroens, Peugeots and Nissans had CHAdeMO.… For the vast majority of EV drivers CCS is the gold charger socket standard and has become the default fitment.”
Making moves… It seems for some in the industry, the curtains have already been drawn on CHAdeMO. Only last week, the European charging network Allego – which operates multiple locations in the UK – posted on its website: “As the EV landscape evolves, the number of EVs that are still equipped with a CHAdeMO system is decreasing. That is why we are slowly phasing out the CHAdeMO chargers in our network. This means that we are not actively replacing chargers that support CHAdeMO.” They added as well: “We aren’t including them in new locations or locations that we are renovating.”
Impact? Given the popularity of the Nissan Leaf in the UK – which is manufactured in the North East of England – one could perhaps think the tens of thousands of Leaf owners (as well as other EV models with CHAdeMO fitted) may be left in the lurch by this phase-out, perhaps with a slight risk the value of these cars decreases. While it may likely be a problem in due course, many comments online suggest that, because of the push towards CCS, actually those with CHAdeMO are finding fewer queues at public charge points. So a small silver lining!
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Latest EV news…
🏭 BMW yesterday announced that it would invest £600 million into updating its current plant in Oxfordshire so that it can build the Mini electric. This funding includes £75 million of government money – they appear to have finally woken up to the need to act. This is a great win for the UK’s automotive industry. Read more on the BBC, or on GOV.UK.
However… I do find it a little bid odd that, actually, this news was first reported in March this year. Though, if memory serves me correctly, BMW ended up delaying/retracting the news. I wonder why.
❔ On the sidelines of the BMW announcement, according to Autocar, the Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch suggested that extra flexibility may be built into the 2030 deadline for those making hybrid cars. She said: “There is no point putting a deadline in if people aren’t able to make that transition from petrol to electric.”Read more (paywall).
😔 In not-so-good news, Onto, the EV subscription company, has entered administration. Gavin Maher, joint administrator, said in a statement: "Onto has suffered from the steep fall in electric vehicle residual value in the first half of 2023, rising interest rates, and the squeeze on disposable income and was unable to secure additional funding from its shareholders. After entering administration, Onto will continue to serve existing customers as the administrators explore strategic options." Read more. Or… check my previous write-up about cash-thirsty leasing firms below.
🚚 Last week I published a special report on Arrival and how it went from a £9.5bn valuation to the cusp of insolvency. Since then, one of Arrival’s board members, Tawni Nazario-Cranz, has stepped down as a director. She was Chair of Arrival’s Compensation Committee, Member of the Corp Governance Committee and of the Audit Committee. Separately, we could expect Arrival’s next quarterly results this week.
🚢 Germany has now backed delaying the tariffs on EV sales between the UK and EU. That could really help the auto industry. Kemi Badenoch was asked about it on Radio 4 yesterday, and when asked what we’d do if the EU doesn’t agree, she couldn’t provide an answer outside ‘we have agreements elsewhere’ etc. Read more.
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🚙 Talking of TikTok, also last week I shared a video about the Range Rover Classic EV that’s been developed by Inverted. Very cool! Check it out here.
📝 The campaign group FairCharge in partnership with the RAC, supported by others such as RechargeUK and the Fully Charged Show, launched a new charter last week for public EV charging. The aim is to improve reliability, transparency, and accessibility. Learn more.
⚡ Speaking of accessibility, the EV charging network Osprey and Motability Operations, the UK’s largest leasing company and the organisation that delivers the Motability Scheme to over 690,000 disabled people, have joined forces in a new collaboration. The tie-up will allow scheme users to find accessible chargers and to share insights on the experience for disabled drivers. Read more.
🕵️ Finally, you may have seen the news about Chinese spies in Parliament, which has in turn reheated the debate on the UK’s approach to China. It appears most of the Cabinet is against listing China as a ‘threat’ but there is a lot of pressure on the Prime Minister. If this does happen, people working at Chinese companies may have to register on an official list – which naturally several people in the EV sector do. One to watch. Read more (paywall).
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